Tuesday, March 8, 2011

StellarCon 35

Sometime last year, my convention mentor Space Jesus popped the question to me:

“Would you be a guest at StellarCon 35?”

Of course I said yes, and then I promptly put it out of my mind until about a week ago when my vendor friends started getting ready for Stellar. Then suddenly I remembered I needed business cards! I needed prints! I needed to prepare for my panels! 

Well, I got two out of the three done and hoped that whoever showed up to my panels really liked improvisation.

I had a few main goals at this con:
1)      Do a decent job of being a guest
2)      Properly deflower the convention virgins (we brought some friends who were new to the con scene)
3)      Make sure my vendor friends sleep less than I do
4)      Sell at least…ONE PRINT. (hey, you set the bar low…)

Our group consists of myself, Tanner, my younger sister and her roommate and one of their friends, our resident Pretty Asian Boy, and our friend MadScientist, who left us for grad school in Atlanta, where he is no doubt learning how to violate natural laws in pursuit of things no man was meant to create. (He was drinking whiskey out of test tubes all weekend, if that tells you anything…)

I camp out at Space Jesus’ table. He’s not making use of it because he’s busy organizing things (and doing a terrific job of it) so I annex half for my prints. We’re set up across the way from Kass and Trouble, who have a bunch of neat jewelry and shinies (some of which jingle most delightfully and Kass employs them to attract the fangirls)

10pm Friday  - Nearly Naked Costuming. I was filling out my guest form at 3am and thought it would be funny to propose a silly panel…which Space Jesus then made into a real panel.  I did my part by showing up in the bare minimum of chainmail bikini (and chainmail stockings, which Space Jesus had banned me from wearing until after hours), but it actually ended up being somewhat educational, part costuming and makeup/bodyart tips and part costuming stories.

Having survived my first panel…booze time!

Now, I have drinking abilities on par with say, a baby bird, so my idea of boozin’ it up is really more like nursing one drink for a very long time. But that did not stop me from staying up till 4am, no sirreee. Because my first panel wasn’t until 12pm, so I could sleep in, suckahs! I’m pretty sure Matt of Ribbons and Rivets got about 3 hours of sleep….Goal 3 accomplished.  

11am Saturday  [not 12pm, I had the wrong time on my form and found out at 10:31 that I was supposed to be at the panel at 11….ever seen someone speed walking in a chainmail bikini? It is not dignified] - How to Win a Costume Contest. Hey, pro tip – if you’ve got your heart set on winning a costume contest, and two out of the four judges are doing a panel called HOW TO WIN A COSTUME CONTEST, you might want to show up, instead of complaining after you don’t place that the contest wasn’t fair.  Hey, the waaaaaaahmbulance just pulled up outside …

4pm Saturday Artist Round Table – published and award winning artist Alan Welch, world famous fantasy painter LARRY FREAKIN ELMORE, and…myself… sat down and discussed our artwork, our inspiration… ahhh mostly we sat around and listened to Larry talk because he’s super entertaining.

On the difference between digital art and traditional painting :
(after he had spent a long time laboring over an extremely difficult and detailed composition for a major game company)

Larry: So I sent the painting in and thank god, they loved it.
Me:  See, that’s the nice thing about photoshop – they don’t like the color of magical city, click click click, totally different color!
Larry: I think if they’d asked me to change something, I would’ve shot myself.

One thing that was a bit weird was selling my own prints – I’m used to booth girl-ing for artists and costumers, but it’s completely different to have a table full of my own face staring back up at me. I really want to start doing prints of other people, I think that will cut down on the weirdness. I’ll admit, my inner artist was pleased when prints that I had spent quite a few hours laboring over proved to be popular. ^_^ I’ve already got three new ones underway.

7pm Costume Contest – some really cool entries this year! I was judging, along with Larry Elmore, Todd McCaffrey, and Space Jesus. I’m not sure if I like judging or entering more…the feeling of power was intoxicating. And, I got to hang out with Larry and Todd, two of the Guests of Honor, and pretend like I was also an important person. They are both very easy going and down to earth, and by far way more fun than most celebrity media guests I have met. We ended up having a long and rambling conversation about everything from motorcyles to child beauty pageants.

9pm The Delphic Oracle – Best. Panel. EVER. The way the Oracle works is that there’s five people on the panel. The audience poses questions to the oracle, and the panelists answer, each person contributing one word at a time in order. The results are convoluted…but awesome. Kind of like how the real Delphic Oracle gave answers that weren’t actually helpful because they could be interpreted either way. I pull the MadScientist onto the panel, because he’s also a theater nerd and excels at this kind of thing.

Question: Why did Davey try to end our panel earlier by telling us the wrong time?
Answer: Because Pikachu makes Davey horny.

Question: Do real vampires sparkle?

Question: My liege king wishes to make war on Darius of Persia. How can he ensure victory?
Answer: Victory will surely be his because he has Pikachu’s love, unless he fails to bring the stolen Encyclopedia Brown wrapped in glistening silken echidna balls.  

Then we composed a “Dear John” letter… that began: “Salutations Juan Alberto Enrique Rodriguez…”

And because the panel was moderated by Todd McCaffrey – someone had to go there and ask a question about Pern:

Question: Are the humans on Pern part of a large scale social experiment that is being observed by outsider forces?
Answer: Surely you don’t think there are humans on Pern?

Yeah make sense of that! THE DELPHIC ORACLE HAS SPOKEN!

10 pm Wild Con Stories – really more like “Tales of Drunk! Space Jesus.” Val the Epic Bartender and I sandwiched Space Jesus and shared some delicious pineapple rum fruit juice COFFEE. Anyway, to know Space Jesus is inevitably to have a ridiculous story about his antics (ask me how I met him sometime), so we keep the panel going strong for the full time.  

PANELS ARE OVER, BACK TO PARTIES. (Goal 1 accomplished!)

In honor of our panel together, Val invents a drink called “Wild Con Story.” Val is the kind of bartender that if she hands you something, you drink it, no questions asked. Although, I’m not clear on whether it was “Wild Con Story” or “Wild Consort”, because the drink tastes like delicious soda but it is SUPER ALCOHOLIC. I had one and suddenly everyone was my good friend that I wanted to give hugs to.

Equal parts: Tuaca, Chocolate Raspberry Liquor, Chambord.
Add a splash of Amaretto.
...Finish with Club Soda
[Feed to Allegra]

Sunday morning, everyone claws their way out of bed (Goal 2 accomplished! If you have any energy left at the end of the con, then you didn’t have as much fun as you could have, hahaha!), I sell a bunch of prints (Goal 4 super accomplished!), and somehow resist sleeping on my own table.

I never mean for these blog posts to get so long, dangit! So to wrap up –

StellarCon 35, in review, was awesome. Definitely would recommend!  It was extremely well run, the guests (besides that one scantily clad chainmail ho) were fun, the attendees were great... I was sad to see that attendance had dropped since last year, but wasn’t too surprised, since Shevacon is now apparently on the same weekend. (What the crap, Shevacon, not kosher)

Here’s to StellarCon 36!  *toasts with Wild Con Story*


  1. I believe I will have to remember that drink recpie and make some at origins. That could be very entertaining. :)

  2. Attendance was up this year by a whole bunch from last year. Dunno why it didn't look like it.


    @Yair - I'm glad to hear it! I was more or less confined to the dealer room so I didn't actually get to see as much of the con, which is probably why I thought that. Good to know Stellar's star is on the rise :)
    (see what I did there? :D)